Homemade Hamburger Helper Saturday, Mar 1 2014 

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Homemade Hamburger Helper

1lb hamburger
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green peppers, chopped (optional)
2.5 – 3.5 cups tomato juice*
1 3/4 cup buttermilk**
2 cups macaroni, uncooked
1tsp sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
Cheese, optional

In large pot, fry meat, onions, and peppers. Add tomato juice, milk, macaroni, sugar, chili powder and salt. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until noodles are tender. Stir in cheese if desired. I stirred in some parmesan and cheddar.

Quick-meal tip: I cook large batches of ground beef/onions and keep it in the freezer for quick meals. If you have precooked ground beef like that, all you do is throw all the ingredients together in a large pot, simmer until done! Quick and easy!

Variation: I’m sure the seasonings could be swapped with others to change up this meal a bit if desired. I like the simplicity of this one.

*I used whole wheat noodles and used 3 1/2 cups. With white noodles, you would need less. Start with 2.5 cups and add ore as needed until the noodles are cooked through.
**I used milk with a bit of vinegar added. I’m sure it would work just fine with regular milk.

Crockpot Scalloped Ham Potatoes Monday, Apr 8 2013 

We love this meal! I love it because its quick and easy to put together, and my boys love eating it because they loooove potatoes. 🙂

Crockpot Scalloped Ham Potatoes

5 medium potatoes, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups ham, diced
1 cup cheese, shredded

Sauce:
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups water*

Place sliced potatoes in a bowl of water with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar or salt, then drain. This will keep potatoes from darkening. Layer potatoes in 5L/qt crock-pot. Then put onions and ham on top of potatoes.

Stir flour, salt and pepper together in saucepan. Whisk in milk gradually until no lumps remain. Heat and stir until boiling. Pour over potatoes in the crockpot. Top with shredded cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 9hrs or on high for 4.5hrs (I found my crockpot to only need about 3hrs on high – so check to see, it’ll depend a bit on the strength of your crockpot).

*I like to do part chicken broth, part milk. This last time I used approx 2/3 cup broth and the rest was milk.

Garlic Lemon Fish Tuesday, Apr 2 2013 

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Fish is not something my family has eaten much of, but this pregnant has me craving to add fish to our diet. When the fish was on sale for a great price last week, I decided this was the time to get some. I loosely followed a recipe on the package of the fish and it was delicious! So, I’m writing it on here to make sure I can remember it for later! 🙂

Garlic Lemon Fish

2 small fish fillets (approx 50g/1.75oz each) – I used sole
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
4 Tbsp butter/olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley

Place butter/oil and garlic in skillet and cook until garlic is light brown, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice and parsley to the skillet, then fish fillet. Cook several minutes, then flip fish to cook on the other side for a few more minutes, until cooked through. Serve on a bed of rice (we like brown basmati best), and pour sauce over the rice.

Vegetable Soufflé Wednesday, Feb 27 2013 

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I found this recipe in an old recipe box I was given. I thought it an easy, simple, and healthy recipe, and wanted to give it a try. My one child seems to be going through a particularly picky stage, and, with my pregnancy, so am I. 😉  I was hoping it would be well received, and it was! I’m definitely adding this dish to our list of simple, easy meals to make. 🙂

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Vegetable Soufflé

6 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup white sauce (see recipe below)
1 cup vegetables, chopped and cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese sauce (see recipe below)

Beat egg whites until stiff, adding cream of tartar while beating.

Then beat egg yolks, and fold into egg whites. Add rice, white sauce, vegetables, and salt and pepper. Pour soufflé mixture into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350F for 45min-1hr, until cooked through. Serve with cheese sauce.

White Sauce

1 Tbsp oil/butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 cup milk

Melt butter in small pot. Mix in flour. Add salt and milk. Whisk frequently until sauce comes to a boil over medium heat. Let simmer 2-3 minutes. It’s ready!

Cheese Sauce

Make the white sauce recipe above, but use only 1Tbsp flour for a thinner consistency. In the end, add approximately 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until melted.

 

Secret Recipe Club: Polenta Pizza Crust Monday, Feb 25 2013 

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This is my 12th Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I’ve enjoyed being part of this group, being assigned a food blog, choosing a recipe, and trying it out. Oftentimes, the blogs assigned were quite different than how I normally cook. So it was a challenge, especially at times, to find something that my whole family would like, yet something new and unique to try out! 🙂

I’ve enjoyed this time, but sadly this chapter of my blogging life is coming to a close now. With our recent move, getting used to our new schedule, expecting our 3rd, homeschooling our 1st, and preparing for our move to Africa in a few months, I have to let some things go. As fun as it’s been to be part of SRC, sadly, I’ll pass that fun on to another food blogger waiting to join. 🙂  So thanks for joining me in these past reveals, and do check in from time to time! Of course there will be new recipes posted here, that’s my hobby! 😉  I’m enjoying putting my recipes on here as it will also be so handy once we are in Africa, where I can’t bring all my cookbook stash. 🙂

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This month, I was assigned Bean’s blog, Without Adornment. How fun to get to end this SRC journey with being assigned a fellow Canadian food blogger! 🙂  Bean cooks gluten-free, and, also has a lot of recipes that are dairy free, egg free, etc. It’s a great blog for those of you with these allergies!

After browsing around, I decided on the Vegan Polenta Pizza. However, I’m not using her toppings (kale, mushrooms and pine nuts). Sounds yummy to me, but I do have one child who is a picky eater, so I try to be sensitive to that, while pushing him to try new things as well. 🙂  He LOVES pizza, and guess what? He loved this one! I didn’t tell him it was a different crust. He took a bite and said “Mmm, this is good food!” and ate his whole piece. Yay!!!

I’m also excited about this crust, because, in Africa, they eat a lot of maize, which I believe is sort of similar to cornmeal. Since that will be so readily available to us, I’m sure I’ll be able to make a very similar pizza-crust to this recipe! And since my sons love it – yay! 😀  So thank you, Bean, for this recipe that I’m sure will come handy in the future!

Polenta Pizza Crust

2 cups water
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
3/4 cup cornmeal

Bring water to boil. Add seasonings and oil. Whisk in cornmeal slowly, and let it simmer/boil 5-7 minutes, until thick (oatmeal-like consistency), stirring constantly. Add a bit of water if necessary, though I didn’t need to – probably depends how hard you let it boil. 🙂

Spread on greased cookie sheet/pizza pan, working quickly so that the polenta doesn’t have time to set. I spread it on an 11″ circular pizza pan and it seemed the perfect thickness to us (“thin-crust”).

Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, until lightly brown underneath. Remove from oven, and put desired toppings on. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Breakfast Pizza Toppings (as pictured above):

4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Meat or sausage of choice
Pizza sauce/salsa
Cheese

Mix together eggs and milk, and cook in a frying pan. I left them slightly undercooked as they cooked a bit more in the oven.

Put desired sauce on top of polenta crust. I used pizza sauce on half, and salsa on the other (kid-friendly and for adults!). Spread scrambled eggs over the top. Place meat/sausage of choice. Top with cheese!


Baked Chicken and Dumplings Thursday, Feb 14 2013 

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I grew up eating Chicken Pot Pie. Sometimes with pie crust, and sometimes we just put the mixture in a casserole dish, topped with biscuit dough, and baked that way. Either way, I love it! However, I don’t really care much for making pie crust, so I prefer the quick and easy version of putting biscuits on top. 🙂  It’s also healthier that way.

I never know what to call that dish though, because Chicken Pot Pie always refers to the mixture being baked inside pie crusts. I asked my friends on facebook recently, and the term “Chicken Dumplings” came up. I wasn’t familiar with that term, so I googled it. It seems like that is mostly used when you boil your “biscuit” dough in the mixture in a pot. Since I bake it, I decided to call this recipe Baked Chicken and Dumplings. 😉

Baked Chicken and Dumplings

2 1/2 cups chicken and/or vegetable broth (I use my homemade concentrated chicken broth, and diluted it some with water)
1/2 cup milk
5 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups frozen vegetables
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced

Mix together broth, milk, salt and pepper in a large pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in vegetables and chicken, let simmer 5 minutes until warmed up again. Pour mixture into a 2 qt casserole dish. I prefer a dish that isn’t big, but deep. The biscuits will absorb some of the liquid and I like there to be less biscuits compared to the depth of the chicken/veggie mixture.

Bake at 400F until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare a biscuit mix (like this, or this, or this!). Remove casserole from oven, drop biscuit dough by teaspoon-ful on top of the mixture (leaving room between them as they will expend as they bake). I found it only took 1/2 of the biscuit dough, and baked the rest on a cookie sheet on the side. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes until biscuits are golden and cooked.

Slight adaptation from the More with Less cookbook.

Secret Recipe Club: Rainbow Chicken Salad Monday, Jan 28 2013 

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After a month off (due to Christmas), its Secret Recipe Club time again! I was glad to have December off since we moved across the country. We settled into our new apartment just before Christmas, and I’m not getting back into the swing of things (as much as a 1st trimester mommy can!). 🙂

This month I was assigned to Kudos Kitchen by Renee. Since I had some turkey leftover from Christmas in my freezer, I decided to make this beautiful colourful Rainbow Chicken Salad! I like that the sauce isn’t just mayonaise, but is half yogurt. Between that, and all its veggies added in, it makes this recipe a healthier sandwich filling, and so pretty to serve.

 

Rainbow Chicken Salad

2 cups chicken (or turkey!), cooked, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 medium purple onion, diced (I used white as I didn’t have any purple, but purple would be so pretty!)
1/4 large orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 apple, peeled and diced
1 lime, zest and juice (I used 1 Tbsp pickle juice!)
1 pickle, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir to combine well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.


Garlic Roasted Chicken Breasts Friday, Jan 25 2013 

I apologize for not a very good picture, but that couldn’t keep me from sharing this recipe with you! It’s delicious! We enjoyed eating these chicken breasts on their own, as well as on top of salad. They are very tasty and moist, and I love that they don’t require any marinating for them to be like that. 🙂

I found the recipe here, and made it twice within a week, it was so good!

Garlic Roasted Chicken Breasts

4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
dash ground pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder (up to 1 tsp, depending on taste!)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I’m sure this would work on any type of chicken pieces)

Mix together garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, chili, cumin, and oil.

Place chicken breasts in 8″x8″ casserole dish. Pour in the chicken broth, spread garlic mix on top of chicken breasts. Bake at 425F for 40-50 minutes, until chicken is cooked (juices are clear inside the chicken). Delicious!

 

Ham Lentil Soup Friday, Jan 11 2013 

We had this yummy soup at a friends’ house a while back, and I had to get the recipe to share here! So yummy, and perfect for winter. 🙂

Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils (green)
5 cups water
2 Tbsp chicken boullion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup ham, diced
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large potato, diced (opt)

Bring water, seasonings and lentils to a boil and turn heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes. 20 minutes into the cooking, add veggies. When lentils are soft, add ham and simmer a few more minutes to warm it up.

Serve as soup, or cook until very thick and serve over rice.

 

This picture is the same recipe, I simply added some other beans to it. 🙂

Quinoa Patties Wednesday, Jan 9 2013 

 

 

I branched out and made some quinoa patties! They’re so good! A good vegetarian option for sure. Even my boys loved them and ate them up! I made extra and froze them for quick lunches on other days.

The recipe is a slight variation from Whole Living.

 

Quinoa Patties

2 1/2 cups cooked
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup shredded cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil, to fry

Combine quinoa, eggs, salt, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add bread crumbs, mix, and let sit for a few minutes.

Form mixture into patties, I made mine about 3″ across and it made 25 patties. (Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is too wet, or more water if too dry.)

Heat oil in frying pan, and cook on medium-low heat until browned, approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.

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